by IPJ Staff Writer Heather Grace

Kintsugi, or Kintsukuroi, literally translated means “gold joining.” It is the Japanese art of breaking & repairing things that are highly valued/special to the artist. Then, each piece is lovingly restored—put back together with gold, silver or platinum.

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What was once whole has been made anew in a unique/lovely way that can be celebrated, solely because  it was broken.  The places which were fractured are highlighted, becoming eloquently beautiful. Cracks are never obscured in Kintsugi. They intentionally become a focal point of this transformative art, because what may seem flawed is embraced.

Kintsugi acknowledges breakage/repair as a part of becoming the best version of oneself. Philosophically, this empoweringly artistic style treats scars as an essential aspect of all life.

In this way, we see that our own cracks—the things that may break us physically—become a symbol of our inner strength.

Much like Kintsugi, each of us with chronic illness & pain have been broken. Our serious life-altering struggles should not make us feel as though we’ve been rendered useless & can be discarded. Never!

Each of us has power to move through our most difficult low points, becoming something new, surprising, beautiful. We should not disguise our struggles. They’re a part of us & we should learn to love and respect every aspect of who we are. Each of us should see our scars in a new light: as symbols of our transformation.

No matter what we’ve faced, we are strong and resilient. Each of us can come out of our darkest days & in time shine, brighter than ever before.

After all, our scars are not proof we have been broken, but that we have lived, grown & healed. We are all Kintsugi.